Eunuchs Open Dhaba, Taste Success
By G Subhash Chandra | Published: 16th December 2013 08:24 AM |
An enterprising group of eunuchs is running a successful dhaba (highway eatery) 4 km from here. Satara Dhaba is located at Thippareddy Auto Nagar (Kyadigere) on the Pune-Bangalore National Highway.
Bhavanamma, who took the initiative to set up the dhaba about four months ago, has roped in others of her transgender community to run it. The dhaba enjoys an average daily turnover of anywhere between `5,000 and `10,000.
Most eunuchs beg or engage in sex work for a living. Bhavanamma wants them to move to other occupations. She has provided employment not only for community members Lathika, Tilaka and Raziyamma, but also to two others. The eatery offers the usual dhaba fare popular with truckers and highway travellers — rotis, sabzis and rice varieties. Customers initially hesitated to step in, but have now overcome their apprehensions. Bhavanamma borrowed `22.5 lakh from friends and acquaintances to set up the dhaba and spent `4 lakh to do it up.
The dhaba’s success is changing the way the community looks at itself. Bhavanamma and her friends are no longer interested in sex work. “Those who mock us are uncultured,” she said.
The eunuchs community needs government support in the form of loans and subsidies. Banks should help eunuchs grow into entrepreneurs, Bhavanamma urged.
The district administration is issuing ration cards, voter identity cards and Aadhaar cards to sexual minorities, and that helps them gain a respectable identity, Bhavanamma said. Families reject children with unconventional sexual orientation, forcing them into sex work, she rued, and called upon eunuchs to pursue higher education.